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March Madness NCAA Brand Strategy

Wendy’s rolls out March Madness menu, special app offer and ads starring Reggie Miller


By Webb Wright, NY Reporter

February 28, 2022 | 4 min read

March Madness is just around the corner – and as the sporting event’s official breakfast and hamburger, Wendy’s has a flurry of new promotional offerings supported by ads with NBA legend Reggie Miller. The new campaign features the brand’s trademark humor, and is also aimed at boosting engagement with the company’s app.


Wendy’s is both the official breakfast and the official hamburger of this year’s March Madness

Wendy’s, the official breakfast and hamburger of March Madness, has called upon NBA legend Reggie Miller to suit up again for a new campaign. The ad spots, along with the promotional deals they’re advertising, help to solidify Wendy’s image as a tech-savvy brand with a sense of humor.

Founded over 50 years ago, Wendy’s surpassed Burger King last year to become the No 2 quick service restaurant chain in the United States. Aside from menu innovation, the chain has become well-known for its witty tweets, which don’t shy away from roasting other brands. Its Twitter bio reads: “We like our tweets the way we like our fries: hot, crispy, and better than anyone expects from a fast food restaurant.”

The new campaign revolves around two video spots featuring Miller, as well as a cameo of Wendy herself decked out in a NCAA-style headband. There are a total of five new deals advertised by the new campaign, which have been framed in language that will be familiar to any basketball fan: ‘at center’ is the $1 Dave’s Single, for example; ‘at point guard’ is the half-off breakfast deal. Each deal comes with its own timeline, the longest-running of which begins today and ends on April 10.

The other deals are: $0 delivery fee with Wendy’s delivery (‘at shooting guard’), $3 off orders over $15 (‘at power forward’) and BOGO $1 premium chicken sandwich (‘at small forward’).

“At Wendy’s, we’re going mad with slam dunk deals like our app-exclusive Dave’s Single for a buck during the 2022 March Madness NCAA men’s and women’s tournaments,” said Carl Loredo, US chief marketing officer of the Wendy’s Company. “To celebrate our return as the Official Hamburger and Official Breakfast of March Madness, we’ve reteamed with Wendy’s superfan Reggie Miller for a three-peat partnership to bring the excitement. It’s a natural extension of our previous March Madness storylines with Reggie – reminding fans they can score the best breakfast and fresh never frozen beef hamburgers in town at Wendy’s.”

Wendy’s new ads are brief, with a touch of absurdist humor. Miller, featured in both, clearly doesn’t mind poking a little fun at himself: in one ad, Miller approaches a clerk at a Wendy’s restaurant, wearing a Wendy’s t-shirt and with a TV remote in-hand, and asks him if the monitors behind the counter could display the game. The clerk informs him that those are, in fact, digital monitors displaying menu items without channels. “So no games?” is how Miller responds. The clerk looks to the camera helplessly.

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